Translator: AtlasStudios Editor: AtlasStudios
Backlund, Empress Borough.
Audrey Hall sat on a suspended chair in a windy corner and looked at the flowers that were blooming under the sun. She thought of Fors Wall’s request.
According to Viscount Glaint, there really was a young girl named Xio Derecha being impounded at a temporary prison located in Backlund’s North Borough.
She was charged with grievous assault against a decent gentleman due to a financial conflict. She caused the man to be bedridden, and he might not be able to stand on his feet ever again.
Regarding that, Fors’s explanation was that the gentleman wasn’t a nice person but the head of a gang in Backlund’s East Borough. He made a living by being an usury.
The cause of the incident was when one of the borrowers found out that the interest was several times higher than he expected, so much so that it was impossible to return the amount of money even after he bankrupted himself. When his discussion with the gentleman ended fruitless, he found the famous intermediator, Xio Derecha, hoping that she could persuade the other party to waive the unreasonable portion of the loan.
That gentleman didn’t respond well to Xio Derecha’s attempts at arbitration, and even threatened to capture the borrower’s wife and children that night. Hence, Xio Derecha switched tactics and chose to use physical means. Accidentally, she caused severe damage to the man.
Viscount Glaint investigated the matter and confirmed that Fors Wall was telling the truth. He also confirmed that the gangster had lost control of his underlings. Moreover, after a midnight visit by someone, the borrower’s debts were waived. A statement was sent to the prosecutor to plead mercy for Xio Derecha. However, an assault case of such severity wasn’t dropped even when the victim decided not to pursue a trial.
“Glaint wished to solve the problem through normal means. He sent people to talk to lawyers that he was familiar with, but they were only confident of winning a lighter sentence, but it would be very difficult to acquit her from the crime unless she obtains a medical certification stating that she is mentally incompetent or mentally undeveloped…” Audrey muttered to herself, leaning in support towards her friend’s opinion.
To her, it was best to not have any relationship with Fors Wall and Xio Derecha. Ever since the Tarot Club, Audrey felt that she was no longer an innocent and naive young lady.
“Tomorrow night, there will be a dance at Count Wolf’s residence. I should tell Glaint then to act according to the lawyer’s suggestion.” Audrey nodded slightly as she made a decision.
In the Loen Kingdom, lawyers were either barristers or solicitors. The latter didn’t need to be involved in court affairs, and were responsible for gathering evidence, talking to the parties involved, setting up wills on their clients’ behalf, supervising property allocation, and providing legal consultation. Of course, they could also represent their clients to attend the most basic magistrate court and defend simple cases.
Barristers, on the other hand, were responsible for researching evidence and defending their clients in court. According to the Loen Kingdom’s laws, they had to maintain an objective attitude so they couldn’t make direct contact with the litigant. They could only communicate with them through their assistants, who were solicitors, to gain complete understanding of the situation. They were all true law experts who possessed outstanding communication skills and were skilled in debate.
The relaxed Audrey observed the colorful flowers outside while hidden in the darkness when she recalled something.
Medical certification stating she was mentally incompetent… Psychiatrist…
If the Psychology Alchemists have grasped ‘acting’, does that mean that they can be found amongst psychiatrists?
Audrey felt that her train of thought was on the correct path, and her eyes shimmered like a lustrous gemstone.
Just then, she saw her golden retriever, Susie sneak behind the flower bushes, to a spot where only the gardener would be able to reach.
Susie… What is she doing? Audrey hid in the shadows and looked in a daze.
The golden retriever’s sense of smell seemed to be confused by the flowers all around her that she failed to notice her owner behind her. She opened her mouth and produced sounds that was akin to one’s exercising of their voice.
Then, it caused the surrounding air to vibrate into words that were jerky and unmellow.
“How are you?”
Audrey’s mouth widened as she completely forgot about the etiquette an elegant lady should have. She couldn’t believe the scene before her and the stiff voice that she had just heard.
She suddenly stood up and asked, “Susie, you can talk? When did you learn how to talk?”
The golden retriever jumped in fright as she turned around to look at her owner.
She shook her tail nervously and very quickly. She opened and closed her mouth a few times, vibrating the surrounding air.
“I… I don’t know how to explain. I am a dog, after all.”
Upon hearing that, Audrey was suddenly at a loss for words.
Monday morning, Klein followed his plan to revise and consolidate his mysticism knowledge. Then, he took the public carriage to Khoy University.
He wanted to increase his interactions with Mr. Azik and find out exactly what he knew.
In the three-story gray building of the history department, Klein and his teacher, Cohen Quentin, chatted for a while and exchanged their information regarding the historical ruins on the main peak of the Hornacis mountain range.
Having not learned anything new, he seized the opportunity to enter the office diagonally opposite when his mentor left to handle certain matters. He then walked over to Azik’s desk. The lecturer had stayed behind to take care of some matters.
“Mr. Azik, can I have a chat with you?” He asked the man with the tanned skin, gentle facial features, and the small mole below his right ear. He took off his hat and bowed.
With eyes that seemed to have seen the vicissitudes of life, Azik tidied his books and replied, “Sure, let’s take a walk by the Khoy’s banks.”
“Alright.” Klein held his cane and followed him out of the three-story gray building.
Along the way, they maintained their silence. Neither of them spoke.
When the flowing river water entered their vision and there were no teachers or students passing by, Azik suddenly stopped in his tracks. He turned his body halfway, faced Klein, and asked, “Is there something I can help you with?”
Klein remained silent for a long while, thinking of several tactful ways of asking his questions, but he gave up on all of them.
Therefore, he spoke frankly and directly asked, “Mr. Azik, you are a trustworthy person, a respectable gentleman. I would like to know what you can see in me, or should I say, what do you know? I am referring to the previous incident when you said that there was something disharmonious in my fate.”
Azik put down his cane and sighed as he laughed.
“I never expected you to be so straightforward. I’m quite at a loss how to answer you.
“To be frank, disharmony in your fate was the only thing that I could see. Other than that, I don’t know any more than you do.”
Klein hesitated and asked, “But how could you tell? I don’t believe that this was derived from divination.”
Azik looked sideways towards the Khoy River. His intonation was tainted with some bleakness.
“No, Klein, you don’t understand. Divination can reach that kind of level. It only depends on the person doing the divination. Of course, my divination was merely an excuse.
“Some people are… special. They are born with some strange ability. I think I am someone like that.”
“You think?” Klein acutely caught the word that the other man used.
“Yes, I am not sure if I was born with it. Perhaps, the price of my ability is to forget myself, to forget my past, to forget my parents.” Azik’s eyes were clouded with melancholy as he looked at the river.
Klein was increasingly confused.
“Forget the past?”
Azik smiled without any humor.
“Before I entered the Backlund University’s history department, I lost most of my memory. I only remembered my name and some basic knowledge. Luckily, I still had my identification documents. Otherwise, I probably would have ended up homeless. All these years, I’ve tried to search for my parents using my identification documents, but I never found anything, even though I could see a corner of Fate.
“During my few years in the university, I gradually realized that I possessed some strange but unique powers, powers that go beyond common sense.”
Klein listened attentively and asked, “Mr. Azik, why did you lose your memory? No, I mean—did you find out why you lost your memory?”
He suspected that Mr. Azik was a member of the Life School of Thought who had lost his memories, and that he might even be a Mid-Sequence Beyonder that held an above average position. It was a secret organization that had potion Sequences for Monster and Soothsayer. It was an organization that was mainly passed down through master-disciple relationships.
Azik shook his head vigorously.
“No, it felt like I just had slept, I’ve forgotten everything that happened in the past.”
He walked forward a few steps with his cane in his hand. He spoke as he walked.
“After I left Backlund, I started dreaming. I dreamed about a lot of strange things…”
Dreams? I am good at interpreting dreams! The conversation was entering Klein’s domain of expertise as he immediately asked, “What kind of dream?”
Azik let out a muffled laugh and said, “Many different kinds of dreams. Sometimes, I would dream of the internals of a dark mausoleum. I would dream of ancient coffins with corpses in them. They would have white feathers growing out from their backs. Sometimes, I would dream of myself being a knight covered in armor, holding a three-meter-long spear while charging towards the enemy.
“Sometimes, I dream of myself as a feudal lord, having a rich and fertile fief, with a beautiful wife and three children. Sometimes, I dream of myself as a tramp, walking on a muddy road in the rain, feeling cold and hungry.
“Sometimes, I dream of myself having a daughter, a different daughter than the previous children. She would have long smooth black hair, and she enjoys sitting on the swing that I made. She always asks for sweets from me. Sometimes, I dream of myself standing next to the gallows, looking towards a dead body hanging up there coldly.”
Listening to Azik raving like a madman, Klein suddenly realized that he couldn’t interpret the dreams because his various dreams symbolized opposite, contradictory things!
Azik retracted his gaze as his voice no longer sounded ethereal.
“The Feynapotter Kingdom in the south believes in Mother Earth, and the Church of Mother Earth promotes a belief. They believe that every life is a plant, absorbing the nutrients from the earth. Growing slowly, prospering, and withering.
“When they wither, these lives fall to the earth and return to the mother’s embrace. In the coming year, they grow again. They would blossom then wither, year after year. Life is as such, one life after another.
“Sometimes, I am very willing to believe in this concept. I believe because of my uniqueness, I can dream of previous lives, and the lives before that.”
At this point, he looked at Klein and said with a sigh, “I haven’t mentioned any of this to Cohen before. The reason I’m telling you is because I…”
Azik paused and smiled.
“I apologize. My description earlier was not precise enough. The disharmony in your fate is not the only thing that I could see. I can also see another thing.
“Klein, you are not an ordinary person anymore. You possess an extraordinary, strange power, one very similar to mine.”